National Parks Conservation Ass'n v. US DOI, No. 14-15326 (11th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In 1988, NPS acquired additional land to the the Big Cypress National Preserve. NPCA filed suit contending that the the NPS's General Management Plan's (GMP) inclusion of Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) trails for the Addition Lands was arbitrary, capricious, and in violation of the Wilderness Act, 16 U.S.C. 1131-1136, and Organic Act. The district court concluded that the NPS did not violate the Wilderness Act, finding that the 2010 reassessment of the wilderness eligibility determination was the result of reasoned decision-making rather than political manipulation; with respect to the 1/2-mile buffer, the NPS’s rational for excluding those lands from wilderness eligibility was supported by the record; NPS did not violate the Organic Act by failing to promote conservation because the record supported the NPS’s conclusion that the existing ORV trail network retained the imprint of human engineering and would continue to handle ORV traffic from private property owners accessing their property; and the NPS’s Biological Evaluation and the FWS’s Biological Opinion regarding the eastern indigo snake and Florida panther were supported by the record. NPCA appealed. The court rejected NPCA's claims and concluded that substantial evidence supports the district court's conclusions. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.